Phoneography Challenge: Macro

08 July 2013


1. Spring Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

1. Spring Peony, iPhone 4s, June 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Hydrangea, iPhone 4s, July 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

2. Hydrangea, iPhone 4s, July 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

3. Coneflower, iPhone 4s, July 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

3. Coneflower, iPhone 4s, July 2013; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2013

Let me know which you prefer and why.


Gracie (, Polly ( and I began the iPhoneography Monday Challenge in February. Recently, we had a re-launch that made the challenge open to everyone who uses their Smartphones as their lens–exclusively, experimentally, frequently, occasionally, or back-up. Check here for that post. If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. Please use the current badge until a new one is created, which will be ready sometime this month.  

Humans are foragers. We continuously hunt to understand the universe we inhabit: our place within that world as well as our inner selves. Some of us use the camera and its ability to freeze time as a way to decipher these complex storylines.

We build collages of visual landscapes that express those interior and exterior vistas. Smaller details can be excavated through macro photography, which reveals layers that barely can be determined or seen. Or not seen at all.

This distillation can be a revelation. Or it can be an interpreter of the internal core. These compilations also can be a metaphor for our life so far.

Macro photography can easily tap into our aesthetic center. It can push us into a realm of mystery and new discoveries. Those frontiers can be more abstract and non-objective, because they uncover slivers of a subject’s depth.

From its inception (2007) the iPhone camera has made it possible to capture nuances and tiny areas within the composition and frame. This portable darkroom and studio allows us to make instant images with instant editing and instant sharing: it’s a newly-minted vantage point for amateurs and professionals. As expectations increasingly grow for Smartphones, their macro capabilities flourish and surprise.

In the Lens section are my entries for this week’s macro challenge. Each provides a different way to view a close up. Each provides a new view of the familiar, because each shifts our perceptions of reality.

Tip of the Week:

"Water Drops," Helena Flykt, Macro Photographer

“Water Drops,” Helena Flykt, Macro Photographer

"The Pedicure Ant," Helena Flykt

“The Pedicure Ant,” Helena Flykt

Helena Flykt is a macro photographer who explores the world of the unseen. Here is an interview with ePhotozine where she answers the question: What draws you to insect macro photography? Flykt’s reply: “I’m drawn to macro photography, because you get to see such details on a small insect that you can’t see with the naked eye. To see them in large format is very exciting. And the higher the resolution, the more fascinating they are. I also very much about managing to get the insects ‘personally’ so to speak. To be more than ‘just’ an insect among billions of others. Overall, it’s probably the challenge of catching these small insects on the image, with good sharpness, interesting environment and in a storytelling perspective that makes me love the challenge of it all.”  (from 27 September 2012). Click here to view Flykt Photography. While Flykt is not a phoneographer, her work inspires and teaches.

See other entries:

Note: As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. The following is a reminder of the weekly schedule and themes for upcoming challenges.  

1st Monday: Nature

2nd Monday: Macro

3rd Monday: Black-and-White

4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

This entry was posted in Human Nature, Macro Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Phoneography Challenge: Macro

  1. I like the detail of the underside of the petals of the coneflower and the curly part of the stem. I also like the simplicity of the three main colors (pink, green, white), and the composition with the stem off to the side and curving into the photo.

  2. wisejourney says:

    Looking at the underbelly of the con flower …that seems to be some giant thing…..

  3. Ooooh! I love them all. But I think the hydrangea is best – for wonderful subtlety of colour, shape and light. Though the peony is so warm and fluffy. While the coneflower viewed from below just makes me feel tiny!
    Keep up the great work 🙂

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    Love photo 2 and 3. Wow! Also love the deep thoughts of wisdom. Thanks! 🙂

  5. marialla says:

    Like art work – thank you so much for the beauty you post!

  6. Sally — All three of your macros are nice, but frame #3 is the best of your set. Nice angle of focus and the colors and details of the flower come through nicely. Here’s my offering: Macros at the Market –

  7. masadiso79 says:

    I really like macro phoneography but I never had the chance to exercise it properly (I don’t have the equipment). Here’s my entry which I hope you’ll enjoy:

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Love these photos! Difficult to choose a favourite but maybe the third cos it’s such an unusual angle on a flower. I’m still on my painterly riff this week:

  9. vera ersilia says:

    Great post, text, and photos!

  10. Happy Phoneography Monday.

  11. Hi Sally, I really like your angles below the flower in #2 and #3 and the colors are simply beautiful.
    My Macro entry is here:

  12. Gracie says:

    Awesome photos, Sally! I love the third one, that to me simply screams “Macro”. And the composition on that photo is brilliant too.

  13. elisaruland says:

    I always find it difficult to choose of favorite amongst your photographs, Sally, they each have their own unique beauty. Today, I’m leaning toward the cone flower because I love the up close drama of the shot!

  14. Rebecca T. Dickinson says:

    Sally, they are all beautiful. I like the Hydrangea the most because of the layers. It gives you the feeling you are looking up at rainforest leaves only they are purple. The way the petals and shadows overlap is beautiful! ~ Rebecca

  15. The Coneflower is my favorite…’s like an pink parasol. The angle is interesting, as well.

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  17. They’re all fabulous but the coneflower is my favorite. I like that it was captured from an angle we don’t usually think of doing. Very beautiful ….

  18. Love the cone flower…I love the perspective of capturing underneath a subject …you see such a different view than normal. BTW…just use what tips you can from my blog and let go of the rest.

  19. masadiso79 says:

    I like them all but I prefer number 3, because of the angle it was shot. It’s fabulous!!!

  20. #2 and #3 are great, documenting what we rarely bother to see. #1 is lovely too 🙂

  21. It’s interesting that even in the heavy dose of red in the first photograph, there are small areas of violet color.

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  23. All excellent Sally-but there is something about the top-maybe because of the color and composition, it just exudes such a wonderful energy-

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